After an unbeaten streak lasting eight games and 56 days, the No. 11/12 Yale men’s hockey team suffered its first defeat of 2016 on Friday night after allowing unranked Union to come back for a 2–1 win at Ingalls Rink.
In a game characterized by missed opportunities, the Bulldogs (12–5–4, 6–4–3 ECAC Hockey) could not find the net after scoring just minutes into the first. The win by Union (10–9–6, 3–7–3) marked the first time this season that Yale dropped a contest against an opponent scoring fewer than three goals.
“We played in spurts,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said. “We had a number of players who weren’t involved positively for us, and you can’t win a team game unless you have the whole team going for you.”
All three goals in the game came within the first four minutes of a period, the first being a Yale goal just 2:24 into the contest. Forward Carson Cooper ’16 found the net off assists from forward Cody Learned ’16 and defenseman Adam Larkin ’18.
The Bulldogs later launched several accurate shots right at Union goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos, but of the 10 on target in the period only Cooper’s would make it into the net. A killed penalty from each side left the score at 1–0 at the end of the first frame.
After the break, the Dutchmen had some luck of its own just a few minutes in. Union forward Spencer Foo took advantage of an Eli line change to find a breakaway, ultimately firing a shot past netminder Alex Lyon ’17 to tie the game at one.
“Definitely an opportunity lost,” Cooper said. “When we were off they capitalized. We made some bad plays, some bad changes that cost us. Thankfully it’s not too late in the season to learn from that.”
Yale’s best chance in the second period came on a Union power play, after forward Frankie DiChiara ’17 drew a slashing call on the Yale end of the ice and had to be separated from a Union player before making his way to the penalty box. During the ensuing Union man advantage, forward Mike Doherty ’17 made his way to the net and fired a shot that hit the pipe and bounced away from the goal.
Just 23 seconds after being released, DiChiara would once again find himself with a two-minute penalty — this time for a holding call. During the rest of the period the New York native would get off three hard shots on goal, but none made it past Sakellaropoulos.
The Bulldogs entered the third period tied at one, but the draw was quickly broken by the Dutchmen. Union forward Brendan Taylor pushed a rebound into the corner of the net, and Lyon was leaning too far out of the goal to block it.
Despite nine shots in the third, Yale could not capitalize on any of its opportunities. Lyon was pulled from the net with a minute to go, but a penalty called on forward JM Piotrowski ’19 would offset the extra forward on the ice. No score from the Bulldogs in the third resulted in a 2–1 Union victory.
“I’m not so much worried about the chances or the goals,” Allain said. “We have to be better in the details of our game.”
The Elis return to Ingalls Rink tomorrow night to face Rensselaer at 7 p.m.